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  ISSUE 4/2016 5 February 2016  

Dear !*TITLE*! !*LASTNAME*!,

Our next event is on Friday, 19 February when we will hear about the current status of the EU-Japan Free Trade Agreement at a Joint Nordic Business Luncheon organized by FCCJ. More information below.

Our next Club Evening with a theme, this time "New Successful Finnish Businesses in Japan" will be held on Thursday, 3 March. More information below.

We will have a very active spring season because apart from these events, there are three others lined up:
  • Tuesday, 29 March EU Chambers Luncheon with Tokyo Governor Masuzoe
  • Tuesday, 5 April FCCJ Annual General Assembly
  • Friday, 22 April Stora Enso Cup - Spring 2016

  • I will have more information on these in coming bulletins but mark in your calendar those which would be of interest to you!

    Also this week we have a new contribution from our columnist in "Aoyama View", titled: Minister scandal distract, economy slow down, Kuroda rides for rescue.

    Click banner at right for an interesting read!

    Thursday, 4 February - Joint Nordic Event organized by SCCJ
    Report from the Team Building Bowling Competition

    Members of the Swedish and Finnish Chambers held a joint teambuilding event in the form of a Bowling competition on Thursday, 4 February at Tokyo Port Bowl. The event was organized by the Swedish Chamber ((SCCJ) which has organized similar events for many years. This was the second time the FCCJ took part.

    The 88 participants (21 teams) enjoyed two round of play and a networking party with food and drinks afterwards. The FCCJ had 10 participants (2.5 teams).

    For more about the event, click link at right!
    Friday, 19 February - Joint Nordic Business Luncheon organized by FCCJ
    "EU Japan FTA - current status, opportunities and challenges"

    At the Joint Nordic Business Luncheon on Friday, 19 February we will have Mr. Timo Hammarén, Head of Trade and Economic Section - Minister-Counsellor at the Delegation of the European Union to Japan as our guest speaker.

    Mr. Hammarén has been heavily involved in the ongoing EU-Japan Free Trade Agreement negotiations and the theme of his presentation is: EU Japan FTA - current status, opportunities and challenges.


    Date & Time: Friday, 19 February, 12:00-14:00
    Place: Hotel Okura, Mayfair (South Wing 12F) [MAP]
    Cost:Members: 6,000 yen, non-members: 8,000 yen (collected at the door)
    Registration:by Tuesday, 16 February

    About Timo Hammarén
    Timo Hammarén was born in Helsinki in 1969 in Finland and earned a Master's dregree in Business Administration from University of Tampere in 1993 and in Law from the University of Helsinki in 2005.

    In April 1996 he joined the European Commission in Brussels and served as the Head of Trade and Economic Department at the European Commission Delegation to Ukraine from 2002 to 2006 and at the European Union Delegation to Russia from 2006 to 2011. From 2011 he was the Russia trade policy coordinator at the European Commission until he took up his current position in Tokyo in November 2013.

    To register, click link at right. Please note that we will collect the fee at the door and provide you with a receipt. Late cancellations and no-shows will be invoiced.

    Tuesday, 3 March - FCCJ Networking Event

    Our next Club Evening, held on Thursday, 3 March at the Scandinavian Center in Akasaka, is a networking party with a theme, "New Sucessful Finnish Companies in Japan.".

    We will have three presenters from new, or relatively new, Finnish companies on the Japanese market who will give us a better understanding of their activities and the challenges facing new companies entering the Japanese market.


  • Aki Saarinen, Representative Director, Principal Architect, Reaktor Japan K.K.

  • Masao Ohata, Representative, Enevo Japan

  • Miika Lipiäinen, CEO, Kyrö Distillery Company

  • We will also have an opprotunity to taste Kyrö Distillery's award winning Gin & Tonic!

    Date & Time:Thursday, 3 March, 18:30-21:00
    Place: Scandinavian Center
    2-18-12, Akasaka Minato-ku, Tokyo [MAP]
    Cost:Members: 4,000 yen, non-members: 6,000 yen (collected at the door)
    Including buffet and free flowing drinks
    Registration:by Tuesday, 1 March

    About Reaktor
    Reaktor is a creative technology company. We construct exceptionally well-functioning services for our clients. The one thing our customers value the most is that we get things done. We take pride in our speed, accuracy and quality.

    About Enevo
    Enevo brings together software and telecommunication engineers, data analysts, network gurus and seasoned waste management experts. Our goal is to become the leading global provider of smart logistics optimizations solutions for the waste management and recycling industry, helping both commercial waste management companies and public organizations to operate more resource efficiently.

    About Kyrö Distillery Company
    Founded by 5 friends, Kyrö Distillery Company has been in commercial production since April 2014. Our rye whisky is made from all Finnish 100% malted rye and incredibly pure water. Our first product was a new rye whisky. We have also developed a rye-based premium Gin, which is distilled in our copper pot still and infuse with Finnish botanicals from near our distillery. We are based in a fantastic old dairy in Isokyrö, Finland.

    Please note that we will collect the fee at the door and provide you with a receipt. Late cancellations and no-shows will be invoiced.

    To register, click link at right. Please note that we will collect the fee at the door and provide you with a receipt. Late cancellations and no-shows will be invoiced.

    News from Finland

    EU Commission: No sign of growth in Finnish economy

    Economic data crunchers in Brussels are predicting moderate growth in the European Union this year and in 2017, in spite of rising uncertainty in the region. Apart from Greece, Finland is the only country that will fail to post even one percent growth. They predicted that the Finnish economy will barely move, expanding by just 0.5 percent this year, downgraded from an earlier projection of 0.7 percent last autumn. Growth for the entire region has also been adjusted downwards to 1.7 percent for the year.

    One year ago there was some optimism that economic activity in Finland would begin to take off, but that hope was quashed when the economy stalled again toward the end of the year.

    Commission sources told Yle that it's difficult to say anything about Finland with any degree of certainty. However the forecasts show that Finland will be the only EU country - apart from debt-overwhelmed Greece - where growth will stutter and remain below one percent.

    Officials say that the economy is sending mixed signals: output or GDP isn't rising, but unemployment isn't very high either - 9.2 percent at the end of December, according to Statistics Finland.

    Finland's public debt is one of the lowest in the eurozone, but is growing faster than any other country's. In 2015 it reached 62.7 percent of GDP and is estimated to reach 65 percent this year. The debt figure only just exceeds the recommended limit of 60 percent set by the Commission's Growth and Stability Pact, which would normally trigger the intervention of the economy watchdogs in Brussels. But then other euro members have also sailed past the benchmark. Unlike France and Spain, though, Finland has managed to keep its budget deficit under three percent of GDP, another trigger laid down in the pact.

    Grin of the Week

    Nighttime lecture

    An 89 year old man by the name of Ron Chestna was stopped by the police at 2 a.m. and was asked where he was going at that time of night.

    Ron replied, "I'm on my way to a lecture about alcohol abuse and the effects it has on the human body, as well as staying out late."

    The officer asked, "Really? Who's giving that lecture at this time of night?"
    Ron replied, "That would be my be my wife."

    Thanks M.M. for the contribution!
    Have a great weeekend &
    Best regards

    Clas G. Bystedt
    If you have any comments, rumors, gossip or inside information,
    send it to:

    This bulletin is published by the Finnish Chamber of Commerce in Japan (FCCJ) and distributed to over 700 recipients among its members and related organizations.

    FCCJ was established in April 1999 to promote trade and economic exchange between Japan and Finland and has today 64 corporate members, 12 individual and one special member.